What to know about the hostages still in captivity

Hamas-run Gaza: The number of Palestinians and Arabs in Israel, and how many are still in the U.S.

Hamas has freed more than 80 hostages, according to Israel, which says Hamas took around 243 people in a deadly attack on Israel. 150 Palestinians were freed by Israel in return.

According to Mustafa Barghouti, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, there are 8,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons, including 3,200 who have been arrested since Oct. 7. That number, he says, includes 250 Palestinian children and 2,200 inmates held without charge in administrative detention.

Since the beginning of the conflict, 13,300 people have been killed in Gaza according to the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza. Hospitals do not have electricity. Food, water and fuel are in short supply. The U.N. says three-quarters of Gaza’s 2.2 million people have been internally displaced by the conflict.

“In past exchanges, the ratio was much larger — for one Israeli soldier, there were hundreds of Palestinian prisoners,” Telhami said. It is extremely easy for Israel to arrest Palestinians. They are under some kind of occupation. Israel has a military. It can go into any town and arrest any number of people.

The Israelis have lost some weight while in captivity and have slept in rows of chairs, surviving on bread and rice. Many were kept under lock and key.

On Sunday, a 4-year-old girl, Abigail Mor Edan, a dual U.S. and Israeli citizen, was among those set free. U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the Biden administration believes eight or nine more Americans are still being held but the U.S. does not have “solid information on each and every one of them.”

One Israeli captive, an 84-year-old woman released on Sunday, was flown by helicopter directly from Gaza to an Israeli hospital due to a serious medical condition, according to Israeli media reports.

In 2006, Hamas abducted an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, to the Gaza Strip, holding him for more than five years before finally handing him over in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian and Israeli Arab prisoners.

“It’s not known why they chose that ratio, but it’s clear that,” said Shibley Telhami, a professor of peace and development at the University of Maryland. Hamas was asking for a lot more.”

Palestinians, Palestinians and Palestinians in a Hamas-Insurgent War and the U.S.-Israel Interaction

“Most of them are lone wolves,” Harel Chorev, a senior researcher at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, says of those released so far, “people who tried to commit some sort of an attack but did not succeed.”

As the pool of hostages shrinks, Hamas could demand more prisoners or higher- value ones in exchange for hostages it holds.

CIA Director William Burns arrived in Doha on Tuesday for meetings with Qatar’s Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani and David Barnea, chief of Mossad, Israel’s spy agency, a U.S. official tells NPR.

The meeting in Qatar, a key broker as the temporary cease-fire deal has unfolded, is focused on securing the release of more hostages, and partly about expanding the pause in fighting.

Hamas agreed to prolong the truce for four days, according to Israeli media. A longer cease-fire may be in the works to get the release of all hostages, and a lot of Palestinians, according to Israeli media.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office says it believes that 161 of the original 240 hostages seized by Hamas in last month’s attack on Israeli communities are still being held by the Islamist militant group. Israel says about 1,200 people were killed when Hamas fighters swept out of the Gaza Strip and struck nearby Israeli communities.

The families of Israeli hostages freed by Hamas are sharing their stories with the media. Gideon Heiman says his 84-year-old mother did not receive necessary medical treatment while being held Gaza.

A U.N. Secretary-General’s Call for a Full Non-Standard Interdiction in Gaza, Israel and the Region

The UN’s office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs said that “airstrikes, shelling, and ground clashes have largely ceased,” since the temporary truce went into effect on Friday.

The bulk of aid distribution took place in the south despite the aid convoy reaching the north. It said that the aid reaching Gaza was insufficient to meet the needs.

UN Secretary-General Antnio Guterres called for a full humanitarian ceasefire on Monday to benefit the people of Gaza, Israel and the region.

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